01152022 SHSHartford

Heather Hake, now Heather Hartford, celebrates with family after winning the 1981 Division I field hockey state championship.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing that scares you every day.” Translation: Take some risks, get out of your comfort zone.

Roosevelt would have loved Heather Hake Hartford.

Hartford played two sports at Colby Sawyer College that she had never played at Springfield High School because the school never offered volleyball or lacrosse among its varsity athletic offerings.

“When I got to Colby-Sawyer I did not anticipate playing a fall sport,’ Hartford said. “The athletic director suggested picking up volleyball and I ended up loving it.”

She was a standout at Springfield High in field hockey, basketball and softball.

“Basketball was my love growing up,” Hartford said.

Hake was on the Springfield field hockey team that won the 1981 Division I state championship. She scored all seven goals in the Cosmos tournament run including the only goal of the championship game against South Burlington.

Her athletic career in Springfield included winning the S. Gery Huber Award and the Charlie Tarro Award.

She cherishes both but the Huber accolade had some deep personal meeting since she babysat for the Huber children.

“That was special because of the closeness of the family,” Hartford said.

She played field hockey and softball for the Cosmos with Colleen Debish as the coach and basketball under coach Glenn Drost.

“Both Colleen and Glenn had great coaching styles,” Hartford said.

She is able to implement some of the facets from those styles today as the coach of the Hartford girls varsity lacrosse team.

“My biggest role model was my father (Jack Hake),” Hartford said.

There is a treasured black and white photo of the aftermath of that 1981 state championship field hockey team with Jack rushing to join the Cosmos in their celebration.

Following that illustrious high school career, it was time for Hartford to decide where she would spend the next four years.

“I looked at Mount Holyoke and some of the closer NESCAC schools like Middlebury,” Hartford said.

She chose Colby-Sawyer in New London, New Hampshire, the same school her mother attended when it was a junior college.

“What it came down to was Colby-Sawyer being small and not very far away,” Hartford said.

Playing for the Chargers was an exciting chapter of her life. She earned all-conference honors in all three sports, a notable accomplishment she she had never played two of them prior to arriving in New London.

She was inducted into the Colby-Sawyer College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

She will add another Hall of Fame honor to her resume on March 5 when she is inducted into the Springfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lacrosse became a very big piece of Hartford’s life. While she and her husband were raising three children in Georgetown, Massachusetts, she coached their youth lacrosse teams.

Now, she is in her fourth season of coaching the Hartford lacrosse program while living in Weathersfield.

She sees the Springfield High HOF honor as belonging to all of her teammates.

“You can’t do it alone,” Hartford said. “I am representing all of my teammates.

“I am honored to be with this elite group that is in the Springfield Hall of Fame. It is a tribute to Springfield.”

tom.haley @rutlandherald.com

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